DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

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Do You Need A DBS Check To Work With Animals?

DBS Checks are required for most job roles, especially those involving children or vulnerable adults, as safeguarding their welfare is of the utmost importance. Now, there’s no denying that animals deserve to be cared for and protected, but do you need a DBS check to work with animals? Keep reading to find out. 

Do You Need A DBS Check To Work With Animals? 

The short answer is “yes” you will generally need some type of DBS check in order to work with animals – but there are a few cases where you won’t. However, whether you are eligible for a basic, standard, or enhanced check will depend on the position you are applying for. 

Therapy Animals 

If you are working with a therapy animal, you will not necessarily need a DBS check to work with the actual animal. Rather, you will need to obtain a DBS Check due to the nature of the work you carry out with the therapy animal. 


Therapy animals are often taken into hospitals or care homes to provide therapeutic relief or support to children or vulnerable adults. This means that you will be coming into close contact with these people on regular occasions and will therefore require a DBS Check. Specifically, you will need a Standard check if you are working in hospitals and an enhanced check if you are going into care homes for children or the elderly. 


Vets are tasked with the responsibility of caring for and providing medical treatment to people’s animals. This means that vets will often be left to take care of these animals unattended. Before veterinarians can begin practising, they must undergo a Standard DBS check in order to rule out any previous offences involving animal cruelty or neglect. 

Dog Walkers / Pet Sitters 

Generally, this role does not require a DBS check; however, some pet sitters and dog walkers choose to get a basic DBS check which demonstrates their trustworthiness. These individuals will need to ensure that they have the proper documentation such as insurance and licences.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks


With this profession, you will almost always need to obtain a DBS Check, however the level of check you are eligible for depends on the nature of your role. 


For example, if you’re just working in the animal enclosures feeding animals and cleaning up, then you will only need a basic check. However, if you will be getting more involved with the animal work, then a standard check may be required. Likewise, roles that involve working with zoo visitors, such as children, will require you to obtain an enhanced check

Regulated Activities With Animals 

Regulated activities include those where you will be in direct contact with people from vulnerable groups, such as children or the elderly. If you are working with animals while carrying out a regulated activity, then you will be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. 


Some examples of positions where an individual will be carrying out a regulated activity while working with animals include: 

  • Someone who teaches, trains or instructs children while working with animals, like a horse riding instructor. 
  • Individual’s working in the healthcare industry alongside therapy animals, such as therapists. 

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